802.11ec: Collision avoidance without control messages

Eugenio Magistretti, Omer Gurewitz, Edward W. Knightly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In this paper, we design, implement, and evaluate 802.11ec (Encoded Control), an 802.11-based protocol without control messages: Instead, 802.11ec employs correlatable symbol sequences that, together with the timing the codes are transmitted, encode all control information and change the fundamental design properties of the MAC. The use of correlatable symbol sequences provides two key advantages: 1) efficiency, as it permits a near order of magnitude reduction of the control time; 2) robustness, because codes are short and easily detectable even at low signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR) and even while a neighbor is transmitting data. We implement 802.11ec on a field programmable gate array (FPGA)-based software defined radio. We perform a large number of experiments and show that, compared to 802.11 (with and without RTS/CTS), 802.11ec achieves a vast efficiency gain in conveying control information and resolves key throughput and fairness problems in the presence of hidden terminals, asymmetric topologies, and general multihop topologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6663722
Pages (from-to)1845-1858
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • Channel allocation
  • IEEE 802.11 standards
  • collision avoidance
  • communication system signaling
  • correlation
  • wireless LAN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of '802.11ec: Collision avoidance without control messages'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this